Psychology and Negro Life … Some Needed Research

  • Martin M. Grossack


Psychology has a vital role to play in the field of Negro mental health. Unfortunately, psychology has generally neglected the emotional problems of minorities. For example, the traditional techniques of psychotherapy have not been readily available to Negro patients on a large scale. Inventiveness is needed in developing new ways of fostering emotional well-being among those low in income, of minority status, and poor in the intellectual and communication skills so often found in underprivileged groups. Among the areas requiring research, the following seem important:
  1. 1.

    Documentation of Negro potentialities. The issue of segregation is psychologically tied in with the myth of innate Negro inferiority. This myth of hereditary determination of Negro intelligence, personality and social behavior is still being spread. For example, the Governor of Alabama has sponsored a study to prove that the Negro people are innately inferior. The area of Negro potentiality might well be documented further.

  2. 2.

    Segregated mental hospitals. If you visit South Carolina’s mental hospitals, you see segregated units for Negro and white patients. Negroes are “treated” under the same conditions of segregation that often contribute to the development of their emotional difficulties. The study of the psychic consequences of our segregated therapeutic milieus would be in order.



White Patient Minority Status Mental Hospital Negro Child Negro Patient 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1966

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin M. Grossack

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